The Arts
Arcadium Ballroom, Knowlemere St, Accrington

This was a great little gig which probably only held 100-150 which operated on Saturdays and Sundays, though Sundays was the group night.

It was owned by this big fellow Clifford Davidson, one of those guys who never smiled, and you wouldn’t argue with him unless you where wrong in the head. Though after saying that, he was a great guy.

The venue is still there and nowadays looking at it I suppose it may have been a old Church Hall or something, but nowadays it’s a small electrical company (see photo).

I was a regular patron every weekend, along with many others which included Jon Anderson  (then Warriors – later Yes and the rest is history), and also the great snooker player Alex “Hurricane” Higgins - he was there every weekend also.

Out of the hundreds of bands which must have played there I can only remember: The Fourways (Rawtenstall), The Nosmo Kings (earlier called Lenny & The Teenbeats from Great Harwood), but there must have been scores of others.

Bryan Yorke

photo taken 11th Jan 2007

Great to see a photo of the old place again.

I remember the resident group was called Lenn's Combo. All the boys came from Accrington; Lenny was a big guy who lived at the back of Whalley Road.

Their opening number was The Fleetwoods - Mister Blue (1959).

I remember a large poster of Elvis on the back wall (red sweater, black trousers, white shoes).

I also remember Clifford - he had a small office by the door where he took your money and played the records. He always wore carpet slippers !!

Happy days, now a life time away.


Cliffs wife worked in the cloakroom, a loveley woman,some great memories, then we moved on to Accy Con Club as we got older.  Does anyone remember the Cavern in Castle st, off Milnshaw lane. 

Alan Gilmartin

I “haunted” the place 1957-1962 and was on the staff for a year or two. I did the cloakroom and took learners on for the price of my admittance! Cliff and Elena Davidson ran it then. Jim Hacking used to be on the door and was resident DJ.

I was searching “Google” because I was trying to remember the Lennie and the Teenbeats line up! I remember Lennie,Dave Tomlinson,Pete Flately and Vinnie Shaw. Were there any more?? Lennie was the drummer.

I went up there every day apart from Wednesdays and Saturdays when I went the Accy Con (occasionally branched out to King Georges Hall or Nelson Imp!)

Cliff was a keeper of the morals and a matchmaker in his own way! What a character! If he did not approve of the boy I was dating he would not give me a pass out to go to the pub up the road, I would have to pay again to come in!! He often gave me a lift home in that classic sports car of his. Occasionally I got a lift from Jim who had a motorbike. 

Cliff smoked those weird perfumed cigarettes, cant remember what they were called?  He went on to develop emphysema and they moved to Devon. I received Christmas cards from Elena for years. Cliff died not long after they moved. I last saw Elena in 2004, she was then a very old lady and her eyesight was failing. I would love to know what has happened to her.

Cliff used to give me money every week to buy the Top 10, heaven!! He also gave them back to me when they fell out of favour. I wish I had kept them. I would be interested to hear other memories.

I moved to Blackpool in 1980 and now spend a lot of time in Spain. I often spend New Years Eve at the Poplar Club Accrington with old friends and its like coming home. I met Lennie there two years ago after not seeing him since I was 19!! I thought he had worn well!

Sheila Myers

Lennies Arcadian Combo, later changed to skiffle group later became Lennie and the Teenbeats.  Cut first record at Romers in Rishton.
Lennie sang Shake, Rattle n Roll and Freight Train - can't remember the others!

I remember Elanor winning a new Ford Prefect in a charity raffle  value then £375-00.



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